May 27, 2024

BSS, Dhaka: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged journalists to highlight BNP’s attack on newsmen and killing of police on duty on October 28 to international community.

“You (journalists) should portray internationally the true character of those (BNP) who attacked you while performing duty,” she said while addressing the Representative Conference-2023 of BFUJ-Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists at the National Press Club here.

The premier said Bangladesh has never seen the incident of beating journalists putting them on the street.

She strongly condemned the attack on journalists and killing police, saying she saw that some newspapers are trying to cover up it in different way (by deviating the real incident).

“Shame on them,” Sheikh Hasina added.

Referring to the participation of Jubo Dal leaders and activists in arson terrorism and attack by wearing attire with press stickers on that day, she said those who did such incidents, they have already been detained.

“They must be exposed to punishment for assaulting journalists and killing police,” she said.

Mentioning that the anti-liberation force doesn’t have any right to be in Bangladesh, she said, “Those, who believe in terrorism and militancy, have no right here. They don’t want the welfare of the people and they are foes of the people.”

The premier said the attackers on journalists and police will have to face the music as some 32 newsmen were injured in the attacks carried out by BNP men on October 28 last.

She said the BNP men conducted attacks even in camouflage on October 28 to keep them out of police surveillance. But they’ve finally been caught, she said.

“They did such occurrences. Those who killed and attacked journalists and police must have to face punishment,” she said.

Information and Broadcasting Minister and Awami League Joint General Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud spoke as the special guest with BFUJ President Omar Faruque in the chair.

BFUJ Secretary General Dip Azad conducted the event.

Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) President Sohel Haider Chowdhury, Narayanganj Union of Journalists President Abdus Salam Khokan, Mymensingh Union of Journalists President Ataul Kabir Khokan, Chattogram Union of Journalists General Secretary M Shamsul Islam, Cox’s Bazar Union of Journalists President Abu Taher, Khulna Union of Journalists President Md Faruk Ahmed, Jashore Union of Journalists President Monatosh Basu, Kushtia Union of Journalists President Rashedul Islam Biplop, Rajshahi Union of Journalists President Md Rafikul Islam, Bogura Union of Journalists President Amzad Hossain Sheikh Mintu, Dinajpur Union of Journalists President Wahidul Alam, Barishal Union of Journalists President KM Monirul Alam Swapan Khandker, Gazipur Union of Journalists President Ataur Rahman and Brahmanbaria Union of Journalists President Dipak Chowdhury Bappy also spoke.

BFUJ Vice President Madhusudan Mondal read out the obituary reference on the deceased journalists who died recently.

One-minute silence was also observed to remember the late journalists.

In the function, former BFUJ Presidents Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Abul Kalam Azad, Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul and former Secretaries General Abdul Jalil Bhuiyan, Omar Faruque (incumbent President of BFUJ) and Saban Mahmud were honoured with crests by BFUJ.

The premier handed over the crests to the former presidents and secretaries generals of BFUJ.

BFUJ also presented crest to the prime minister.

Regarding the way of attack on journalists and killing police, the Prime Minister said, “Committing terrorist acts is their (BNP) original character.”

Sheikh Hasina also blasted different international organisations of journalists, including Reporters without Borders, for keeping silent over this attack.

She said, “Where are they now? We don’t see them and don’t hear any words from them. Where have they gone suddenly?”

The premier said some 30 journalists were injured and some were receiving treatment in hospitals. “But, we don’t hear anything from any of them,” she said.

Comparing the BNP’s attack to the bombing on Palestine hospital, she said they (BNP) carried out the attack on a hospital here the same way Israel conducted the bombing attack on a Palestine hospital and killed innocent women and children.

“I don’t know whether they learnt the lesson from the Jews,” she added.

Talking about the 9th Wage Board Award, Sheikh Hasina said it is the responsibility of the owners to implement the wage board. It is very unfortunate that they filed a case against it.

She said preparation continues to form the 10th wage board and the government has a plan to bring electronic media journalists under the wage board.

The head of government laid emphasis on bringing the journalists who are working outside Dhaka under the coverage of the wage board.

The Prime Minister also announced to provide more Taka 10 crore as donation to the fund of Bangladesh Journalists Welfare Trust. The trust fund was formed with the seed money provided by the Prime Minister on several occasions.

She assured the journalists working outside Dhaka to allot plots for them, taking district-based housing projects.

Mentioning that there are a huge number of newspapers in Bangladesh, she said the number of newspapers is not so high even in many developed and rich countries. There are 3,241 newspapers in the country, she said.

Turning to the development of Bangladesh, she said today’s Bangladesh has gained the status of a developing country thanks to the continuation of the democracy and the government from 2009-2023.

Referring to the attaining status of developing nation, she said that her government has preparation to implement the developing status in 2026.

About the upcoming national election, Bangladesh is moving ahead as her party Awami League is in power after election with the symbol “boat” through people’s mandate.

“As I have come to you (journalists), so I want vote for boat so that the development trend of the country could continue,” she added.

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